Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted that the team are prepared for the possibility of strategically choosing the right track in which to receive a penalty for an engine change, as they attempt to give Honda as much time as possible to develop their new power unit.
However, with Ferrari looking extremely fast and Mercedes yet to fully hit the ground running, Horner has suggested that further enhancement of the team's Honda engine could result in the location for grid drops being chosen beforehand so to minimise the points damage.
"You saw in previous years if you pick the penalties at the right venues," he is quoted by Crash.net.
“In Russia last year Max was already back in the top five by lap six so if you pick the right venue and assists the development of the power unit then strategically you can lessen the pain.
"I think Honda have had a good winter and certainly they are reducing that gap significantly but of course what you don’t know is what the others have done.
“If they have found another 50kw then we’ve got a big issue. We’ve been very impressed by the approach of Honda and the progress that they’ve made.
“For us it’s a vital piece of the jigsaw to get us into a competitive position not just for this year but for next year and potentially beyond.”
Red Bull's new partnership with Honda comes after their acrimonious split with Renault which ended after the 2018 F1 campaign.